Patients' studies with severe cases of novel coronavirus show the immune system lacks its normal coordinated response.
Scientists are beginning to disentangle one of the most complicated biological mysteries of the COVID-19 pandemic: Why do some people quickly recover, whereas others, get severely sick? According to recent studies, in individual patients, the coronavirus appears to make the immune system go haywire. Experts said that is unable to marshal the molecules and right cells to fight off the trespasser, a misguided barrage that can wreak havoc on healthy tissues, the bodies of the infected instead launch an entire arsenal of weapons. An immunologist, Akiko Iwasaki, at Yale University who led one of the new studies said that they are seeing some crazy things coming up at various stages of infection.
- COVID-19 Recovery rate: Analyst studying these different responses are finding patterns that differentiate patients on the path to recovery from those who fare far worse. Acumens gleaned from the data might help tailor treatments to individuals, perhaps even vanquishing the virus or easing symptoms before it has a chance to push the immune system too far.
- Researchers take on COVID-19 cases: An immunologist at the University of Pennsylvania, John Wherry, who recently published a study of these telltale immune signatures said that a lot of those data are showing us that we need to be acting pretty fresh in this manner. He said that as more findings come out, researchers may be able to begin testing the idea that can change the trajectory of the disease.
COVID-19: Respiratory infection
When a more frequent respiratory infection, like a flu virus, tries to gain a foothold in the body, the immune response launches a defence in 2 orchestrated acts. Firstly, squadrons of fast-acting fighters try to corral the invader and flocks to the site of infection, buying the rest of the immune system time to mount a more tailored attack. Much of the early response depends on signalling molecules called cytokines that are produced in response to a virus. Cytokines, like little alarms, can mobilize reinforcements from elsewhere in the body, triggering a round of inflammation.
Conclusion: Eventually, these molecules and cells, making way for T cells and antibodies (leading the initial charge will stand down) — specialized assassins built to home in on the cells and the virus it has infected. But this organised handoff seems to break down in people with the severe novel coronavirus.
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